MASVINGO – The man who was recently convicted and sentenced to 10 months in prison for assaulting Chief Nhema; Rangarirai Bwawanda, is now a free man after his lawyers successfully argued that their client had been given an unfair sentence.
Appearing before Zaka senior Magistrate Florence Nago, Benard Tinashe Mazodze had pleaded guilty to the assault charges and was slapped with the jail sentence, five months of which were set aside on condition he does not commit a similar offence over the next five years.
His lawyer, Dereck Charamba of the Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners however challenged the fairness of the sentence, saying the reasons were superficial.
“We should apply the law indiscriminately. Mazodze was supposed to be given an option of a fine as is always the norm in common assault cases. Chief Nhema is not a law enforcement agent and was not in his area of jurisdiction as the court had asserted,” said Charamba after the release of Mazodze on April 21.
It was the State’s case that on April 12, 2017 at Glow Petroleum in Jerera, Chief Nhema was conversing with Mazodze’s father over the upkeep of a child that he (Mazodze’s father) sired with the Chief’s sister.
Mazodze came and interrupted the conversation and started shouting at Chief Nhema who told him not to interfere with issues which did not concern him.
An infuriated Mazodze, however, slapped Chief Nhema twice in the head and head-butted him once on his left eye.
In giving the sentence, Magistrate Nago had indicated that Mazodze had humiliated the chief and had shown disrespect for traditional leadership and law enforcement.local